Roger Milla

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Roger Milla
Milla2008cropped.jpg
Milla in 2008
Personal information
Full name Albert Roger Miller[1]
Date of birth (1952-05-20) 20 May 1952 (age 68)
Place of birth Yaoundé, Cameroon
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Striker
Youth career
1965–1967 Eclair de Douala
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1970 Eclair de Douala
1970–1974 Léopard Douala 116 (89)
1974–1977 Tonnerre 87 (69)
1977–1979 Valenciennes 28 (6)
1979–1980 Monaco 17 (2)
1980–1984 Bastia 113 (35)
1984–1986 Saint-Étienne 59 (31)
1986–1989 Montpellier 95 (37)
1989–1990 Saint-Pierroise
1990–1994 Tonnerre 116 (89)
1994–1995 Pelita Jaya 23 (23)
1995–1996 Putra Samarinda 12 (18)
Total 666 (405)
National team
1973–1994 Cameroon 77 (43)
Teams managed
2001–2007 Montpellier (Coach Staff)
2007–2011 Tonnerre
2011–2012 Tonnerre (Director of football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Albert Roger Miller (born 20 May 1952), known as Roger Milla, is a Cameroonian former professional footballer who played as a forward. He was one of the first African players to be major stars on the international stage. He played in three World Cups for the Cameroon national team.

He achieved international stardom at 38 years old, an age at which most forwards have retired, by scoring four goals at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and thus becoming the oldest goalscorer in World Cup history. He helped Cameroon become the first African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. Four years later, at the age of 42, Milla broke his own record as the oldest goalscorer in World Cup by scoring against Russia in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.[2]

Milla is also remembered for his trademark goal celebration of running to the corner flag and performing a dance.[3] In the years that have followed, he has been recognised as a pioneer of the many unconventional and imaginative goal celebrations seen since then. In 2004 he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[2] In 2007, the Confederation of African Football named Milla the best African player of the previous 50 years.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Milla's father worked for the always and the family moved to Douala when he was 11.[5]

He made his debut for Eclair de Douala at the age of 15, in the Cameroonian second division.[5] Two years later, aged 17, he became the Cameroonian schools high jump champion.[5]

He then played for Léopard Douala,[5] and later Tonnerre Yaoundé.[6]

Moving to France[edit]

In 1977, he was lured to Europe by the French club Valenciennes. There he scored 6 goals in 28 league games over 2 seasons. In 1979 he joined AS Monaco scoring twice in 17 league games in one season.[citation needed]

The next year, he joined Bastia where he scored 35 goals in 113 league appearances for the first team. He next moved to Saint-Etienne in 1984 scoring 31 times in 59 league games. He then starred for Montpellier from 1986 to 1989, where he later went on to become a member of the club's coaching staff after retiring from French football.[citation needed]

Later years[edit]

After leaving France in 1987 Milla moved to Réunion in the Indian Ocean where he played for JS Saint-Pierroise. He then returned to Tonnerre in Cameroon for four seasons. He closed out his playing days with two clubs in Indonesia from after the 1994 World Cup to 1996.[citation needed]

International career[edit]

Milla was capped 77 times for the national team, scoring 43 goals.[7] Milla made his first appearance for Cameroon in 1973 versus Zaire in a World Cup qualifier.[8] He was a member of Cameroon's team at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, having a goal disallowed against Peru in their first match. Cameroon went out with three draws from their three first-round games. Two years later, he was part of the squad competing at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.[citation needed]

In 1988, at the age of 36, Milla celebrated his retirement from international football with a jubilee in Cameroon.[9] However, in 1990, he received a phone call from the President of Cameroon Paul Biya, who pleaded with him to come out of international retirement and rejoin the national team. He agreed, and went to Italy with the Indomitable Lions for the 1990 World Cup, where he would cause a sensation.[citation needed]

1990 World Cup[edit]

38-year-old Milla emerged as one of the tournament's major stars. He scored four goals in Italy, celebrating each one with a dance around the corner flag that has become a popular goal celebration ever since. Two of his goals came against Romania in Cameroon's second game, and two more came in extra time against Colombia in the last 16 to carry Cameroon to the quarter-finals, the furthest an African team had ever advanced at the World Cup (Senegal matched this feat in 2002, as did Ghana in 2010). In the quarter-final match against England, Milla confirmed his super-sub legend by entering in the second half with Cameroon trailing 1–0 and drawing a penalty and then setting up a goal for Ekeke to give Cameroon a 2–1 lead, before England later scored two penalties, to win 3–2 after extra time. Due to his performances in Italy, he was once again named African Footballer of the Year.[citation needed]

His second goal celebration against Colombia was the subject of the 2010 World Cup Coca-Cola advertisement.[10]

1994 World Cup[edit]

Milla returned to the 1994 FIFA World Cup at the age of 42, being the oldest player ever to appear in a World Cup until the 2014 tournament when Colombia's Faryd Mondragón entered in a group stage match versus Japan being 43 years and 3 days old, setting a new record. Mondragon's record in turn was beaten by Essam El Hadary in 2018.[11] Cameroon were knocked out in the group stages; however, Milla scored a goal against Russia, setting a record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup tournament, breaking the record he had set in 1990.[12] His final international appearance came in a friendly against South Africa in December 1994.[8]

Post-playing career[edit]

He is now an itinerant ambassador for African causes. In 2004, he was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers selected by Pelé in conjunction with FIFA's centenary celebrations.[citation needed]

Career statistics[edit]

Source:[13]
Club Season League Cup Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Eclair de Douala 1968–69 28 1
1969–70 29 5
Total 57 6
Léopard Douala 1970–71 29 25
1971–72 30 20
1972–73 28 19
1973–74 30 25
Total 117 89
Tonnerre Yaoundé 1974–75 29 23
1975–76 28 26
1976–77 30 20
Total 87 69
Valenciennes 1977–78 Division 1 0 0
1978–79 28 6 1 1
Total 28 6 1 1
Monaco 1979–80 Division 1 17 2 8 3
Bastia 1980–81 Division 1 30 9 9 8
1981–82 23 8 6 3
1982–83 29 13 2 0
1983–84 31 5 3 1
Total 113 30 20 12
Saint-Étienne 1984–85 Division 2 31 22 8 3
1985–86 28 9 2 2
Total 59 31 10 5
Montpellier 1986–87 Division 2 33 18 2 1
1987–88 Division 1 33 12 4 3
1988–89 29 7 2 0
Total 95 37 8 4
Saint-Pierroise 1989
1990 D1 Pro 23 8
Total 23 8
Tonnerre Yaoundé 1990–91 29 22
1991–92 30 19
1992–93 27 23
1993–94 30 25
Total 116 89
Pelita Jaya 1994–95 Premier Division 23 23
Putra Samarinda 1995–96 Premier Division 12 18
Career total 747 413 47 25 794 438

Honours[edit]

Léopards Douala

Tonnerre Yaoundé

Monaco

Bastia

Montpellier

Cameroon

Individual

Orders

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Décret du 14 avril 2006 portant promotion et nomination" [Decree of 14 April 2006 on promotion and appointment]. Journal Officiel de la République Française (in French). 2006 (91): 5760. 16 April 2006. PREX0609207D. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Roger Milla, the pride of the Indomitable Lions". FIFA. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  3. ^ Jon Carter (26 May 2010). "First XI: World Cup celebrations". ESPN. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Milla is Caf's best from 50 years". BBC Sport. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Ian Hawkey (2010). Feet of the Chameleon: The Story of African Football. Portico. p. 149.
  6. ^ Ian Hawkey (2010). Feet of the Chameleon: The Story of African Football. Portico. p. 154.
  7. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (9 March 2017). "Albert Roger Mooh Miller "Milla" – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  8. ^ a b Men - Longest 'Career' Span RSSSF. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Et Roger Milla inventa la célébration de but". Slate Afrique (in French). Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  10. ^ Roger Milla World Cup Coca-Cola Commercial on YouTube
  11. ^ "Milla, Zoff & the oldest players in World Cup history". Goal.com. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ "On this day in world cup history: Russia 6 Cameroon 1, 28 June 1994". Independent. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Roger Milla". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  14. ^ "World Cup 1990 - Scorers' list". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  15. ^ "FIFA World Cup Awards: All-Star Team". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Legends". Golden Foot. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  17. ^ "IFFHS announce the 48 football legend players". IFFHS. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  18. ^ "World Soccer Players of the Century". World Soccer. Retrieved 22 October 2018.

External links[edit]